Scheduling should be simple for you and your team.

We hear it time and time again from employers – arranging employee schedules is time consuming, confusing and just plain aggravating. But it’s one of those things that if not done properly can really cause turmoil in your business. And if not done smoothly can be a cause of frustration, or even turnover, with employees.

Scheduling issues can impact your business in ways you might not have thought about. In fact, 35% of Millennials say they’ve quit a job because of inconsistent scheduling. On average, replacing one worker costs up to $4,000 and more than 60 hours in training. In industries with high turnover rates, it’s becoming imperative that you take the steps necessary to make it easy for your employees to stick around.

In 2016, we surveyed employers to help us better understand how they manage employee scheduling. On average, managers spend about 25% of their time scheduling workers and dealing with related issues.

Here are five steps you can take now to increase scheduling success, get some of that time back and increase employee satisfaction:

1) Plan the schedules two weeks in advance

Because arranging shift schedules can be so unpredictable, we often see that they are put together at the last minute. In fact, 56% of employees in service organizations receive schedules a week or less in advance. This leaves little time to plan for school, childcare or even another job. In today’s “gig” economy, many hourly workers are balancing multiple shift positions and the earlier they can get a schedule, the higher their satisfaction rate will be.

A big pain point we hear is that it’s difficult to gather all employee availability to create the schedule in the first place. The majority of employers we surveyed said they have employees submit written requests for shift availability. This paper-based system places a heavy burden on the manager, and can make the process pretty confusing and time-consuming, which causes schedules to be created last minute.

While two weeks out might sound a little daunting, it will make things easier on your workers and increase the reliability of a fully-staffed shift.

2) Be mindful of how you communicate schedules

Almost 80% of the employers we surveyed told us that they publish schedules via paper. While that method might have made sense 10 years ago, it’s now an outdated, and ineffective, way to share information.

Think about how your hourly workers will digest information they see posted to a wall in a team room. They might take a picture of the schedule with their cell phone, write it down on paper to take home or even hope they just remember.

What happens when the schedule has a last minute change? There’s a big possibility that not everyone will see the change or were told to take a look at the new schedule.

3) Empower shift change requests

Every business should have processes in place for employees to submit schedule change requests. Of the employers we surveyed, almost half said that workers request shift changes via conversations with managers. This creates a huge opportunity for the communication to break down and the request to get lost during a busy day.

By creating a central way for employees to submit these requests, you are making it easier on both them and their managers. Plus it’s always a good idea to have a trail of what requests were put in and when.

4) Make swapping shifts simple

Having an easy way for employees to change shifts with each other will not only make it easier for them to cancel their shifts at the last minute, it’s a great way to give your employees the option of picking up extra shifts when needed. Win-win.

Of those surveyed, 69% of respondents claim to have a system for coworkers to trade shifts. Of that group, almost half use paper trade requests in a break room or communal area. This can create timing problems and will also leave out many employees who could take the shift but aren’t in when the request is made.

Think about how you would want to get this information if you were in need of picking up more shifts or asking for someone to take your shift. Many things can pop up last minute, requiring an unexpected shift change so the easier you can make it for all your employees to see, the smoother the transition will go.

5) Embrace technology

Technology is making it easier for both you and your employees to have a clear, updated schedule on hand at all times. Creating schedules, communicating schedules, shift changes and shift requests should not be done on paper anymore.

Having all scheduling tools in one place and easily accessible is becoming a key to employee satisfaction and retention. You want to get the information to your employees as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. It’s time to start communicating with your employees where they are – through mobile apps.

Snagajob’s has a variety of features to help get rid of all the paper clutter and make scheduling–and everything that goes with it–easier for you and your team. The latest addition, Scheduling, works alongside what you already use with Snagajob to hire, find and message your hourly workers.  Employees can check out schedule changes, review your shift expectations and more, no paper needed.

Start your free trial today to see what Snagajob Scheduling can do for you!